Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni spoke with the media via Zoom on Tuesday morning.
When asked how he plans on coaching in Orlando while maintaining a six-foot distance from his players, the two-time NBA Coach of the Year went the joke route.
"That's how we guard anyways," he said sarcastically.
The Rockets -- who will enter the seeding games tied for fifth in the Western Conference at 40-24 -- have the No. 16 ranked defense in the NBA.
But when a reporter said, "The numbers say that this team defends well in the clutch against the top 10 teams -- do you believe that?" D'Antoni busted out his comedy routine again, and then provided an explanation.
"We're not a very analytic group here," he joked. "Do I believe in the numbers against better teams? Yeah, because they have our attention. And a lot of the mistakes that we make are either we just don't pay attention, we got bored (or) we try to outscore them."
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A perfect example of this came on Christmas Day when the Warriors -- who entered the matchup at 7-24 -- shot over 47 percent from the field and beat the Rockets 116-104.
And speaking of the Warriors:
"Let's take past years -- when Golden State came here and we had to defend, most of our games were in the 90s," D'Antoni said. "So we have the ability. I get frustrated because we don't do it all the time.
"They gotta gear up to be the best defensive team in Orlando. We can do it. We'll see if we will."
Citing past years probably isn't the best idea, but we'll move on.
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D'Antoni is 69 years old and still hasn't received full clearance from the NBA that he will be allowed to coach in Orlando. If he does get the green light, he plans on wearing a mask during games.
"I don't think it will interfere with my coaching," he told reporters. "Referees won't be able to see my lips moving so they won't know if I'm yelling at them or not. That's a plus. I don't see the downside of it right now.
"Maybe I'll change it once I get into the heat of the moment."
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